Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Kleinhovia hospita L.

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Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Linnaeus, C. von (1763) Species Plantarum ed. 2 : 1365. Type: Habitat in India orientali. Kelinhof horti Bot. cultor in Java.

Common name

Guest Tree


White, granular stripes in the outer blaze. Lenticels in longitudinal lines. Deciduous, leafless for a period in October-November.


Leaf blades +/- cordate, about 10-20 x 6-20 cm, thin in texture, petioles about 8-16 cm long. Midrib and about 4-6 lateral veins radiating from the point of attachment of the petiole. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Stipules 5-10 mm long, gradually tapering to a point.


Sepals about 7 mm long. Petals about 5-6 mm long. One petal larger than the rest, +/- tubular, nectar producing, yellow and swollen at the apex. Stamens 15, staminal tube purple towards the apex. Disk cupular, lobed at the apex.


Fruit inflated, 5-lobed, about 12-20 x 15-25 mm. Seeds globular, about 3-4 mm diam, testa echinate or warty.


Cotyledons broadly ovate, as wide as long with 3-5 veins radiating from the petiole. First pair of leaves with toothed margins. Stipules narrowly triangular, about 0.5-1 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade cordate, apex acuminate, upper surface with a few scattered hairs at least along the midrib, main lateral veins and leaf blade margin; margin irregularly serrate; petiole and terminal bud clothed in short, prostrate hairs; stipules elongate-triangular. Seed germination time 10 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 100 m. Grows in lowland rain forest, gallery forest and beach forest. Also occurs in Africa, Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

This species has been used medicinally in Malaysia. Cribb (1981).

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